Trial Retirement

Cusco Peru | Trial Retirement in Color

Welcome to our 3rd Trial Retirement in the oldest continuously inhabited city in South America, the seat of the great Incan empire, Cusco Peru

In the series of posts that will follow we will explore this UNESCO World Heritage city, the ancient ruins (Sacsayhuamán, Qorikancha), and colorful pueblos around it to know how they changed from Pre-Columbian times. 

We are very fortunate to witness the marvels that Cusco Peru has to offer, especially one of the World’s Great Wonder, Machu Picchu. We will walk, hike, and climb back in time the best we can to showcase Cusco’s vibrant history, enduring structures, amicable people, gastronomy, and traditions. 

Before you go:

Travelers coming from the U.S. and Philippines does NOT need a visa to enter Peru if staying for 180 days maximum. Email for additional information.

  1. Proof of Covid-19 Vaccination (Complete Dose) 14 days before boarding.
  2. Negative molecular Covid19 test no more than 72 hours before arrival.
  3. Children under 12 only need to be asymptomatic. 
  4. Fill out the Affidavit of Health and Geolocation Authorization before your flight. (Print it out!)

You would need to fly to Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima then take another flight to Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco. Local flights costs around $100. Taxis are available, costing around PEN 20 (s/.20) and Uber rides also work within the city at about s/.5 – 20 a trip.

**Conversion (4/30/2022): $1 = PEN 3.84 (s/.3,84)

A couple of things that you need to be prepared for (if you’re not used to it) is the cold and the altitude

Cusco, originally Qosqo, is 11,152 feet (3,400 meters) above sea level. There are literally houses clinging on the side of the mountains, accessible by very steep and seemingly endless steps by foot and narrow high angled winding roadways by car. It was difficult to breathe just walking from our hotel to the market down the road. We learned from locals to take motion sickness or nausea pills (Dimenhydrinate) an hour prior to arrival and 3 days after.

Tourist’s Spots altitude compared to Cusco:

  • Machu Picchu 7,972 feet (2,430 meters)
  • Valle Sagrado 9,776 feet (2,980 meters)
  • Cusco 11,152 feet (3,400 meters) 
  • Lake Titicaca 12,506 feet (3,812 meters)
  • Lake Humantay 13,779 feet (4,200 meters)
  • Palcoyo 16,076 feet (4,900 meters)
  • Monataña de Siete Colores 17,060 feet (5,200 meters)

Due to its location along the Andean Range, Cusco experiences same temperatures all year round at about 32 to 65 F (0 to 18 C). From October to March is the wet season which is mostly overcast and from April to September is the dry season when it’s partly cloudy to sunny.

Temperatures could wildly swing within the day, so always bring a jacket when you are out. It is also recommended to take sun protection (sunblock, hats, sunglasses) because sun exposure is strong due to the altitude. Take a couple of days to get accustomed by walking around the city before doing the more difficult hikes.

The city continues to follow Covid19 precautions. Entry to churches, museums and government offices requires masks and vaccination cards (Carnet de Vacunacion).

The Plan:

We each saved $100 every week from November to April and came up with $4,800 that is our budget for a whole month in Cusco. 

Our allocation for this 3rd trial retirement was more generous, based on our spending habits on previous trial retirements (Costa Rica and Mexico) and cost of living in Peru we found online. It helped that we were able to use airline vouchers for our flights and credit card points for our hotels to stretch the budget.  

Cusco, with all its marvelous edifices, rich culture, awe-inspiring landscapes, great food, and colorful people will give us the much-needed combination of relaxation and adventure. Such wonders we never thought of seeing in our lifetime humbled us and ignited us to continue our unconventional path.

We are by no means rich, but we are determined. A life of marvel and excitement could be yours if you so choose it too! Indulge in the wealth of memories in store for you. Live life with intention, your adventure awaits…

Trial Retirements are periods of time we dedicate traveling to beautiful countries to know if they are perfect for us when we eventually retire. The time spent outside of work will serve as a preview of our habits and behaviors when we reach Financial Independence, and of course, our way to recharge after months of hard work.

Anything we missed? Questions? Violent reactions? Let us know on the comments below!

Check out our trial retirements in Mexico and Costa Rica! Subscribe and Follow TheraFIRE on our socials!

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